We still have many, many apples on the trees, so I decided to make apple pie filling to freeze for later use. I peeled the apples by hand, even though I have one of those nifty hand-cranked peelers. I just wanted to do it by hand, listening to Thistle and Shamrock and Prairie Home Companion as I worked. There is something restful about a knife, a bowl, a bucket of apples and good listening on the radio. I love my apple slicer, however--it makes quick work of slicing into nice neat pieces. (Works well on pears too!)
The apple slices were mixed with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little clove ( I have no idea how much of any of these, just what seems to be right and has the right look of spices on the apples), then bagged in freezer bags and put in the freezer. So easy! My big yellow bowl yielded 3 quarts of apples for winter pies. To use, just prepare pie crust, fill, cover with a full or latticed dough and bake as usual.
When the pie filling was done, I made eggplant Parmesan. I bought the eggplant at the local farmers' market and could not wait to make this dish, which is a favorite of ours. While probably nowhere near the real Italian version, mine is hearty, easy and good.
Peel and slice the eggplant in 1/4" slices. Mix eggs, flour and milk to make a thick batter. Dip the eggplant into the batter and place slices in a heated skillet (heat some olive oil in the pan to keep the slices from sticking). Cook until brown, then turn over, like pancakes. Cook until a fork easily pierces the eggplant slices (I sometimes turn them a few times to be sure the slices don't get too brown).
Lift each slice from the pan and place one layer deep in a baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top liberally; add mushroom spaghetti sauce, then top with grated or sliced mozzarella. Continue with a second layer of eggplant if you have more slices, and repeat the layers.
Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and the sauce is bubbling (about 20 minutes). Lovely with a salad and garlic bread.